March 5, 1996
Today, one-quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States are estimated to occur in young people between the ages of 13 and 20. That means two Americans under the age of 20 become infected with HIV every hour of every day. The rate of infection among young people are growing as the epidemic spreads into suburban communities and the nation's heartland.
It is heartbreaking to see another generation of our Nation's young people fall prey to this epidemic.
At your direction, the Office of National AIDS Policy has prepared this report, "Youth and HIV/AIDS: An American Agenda," an examination of the current state of the impact of HIV and AIDS on America's young people and a series of actions that can be taken to reverse these very troubling trends.
While progress has been made since this epidemic began, this report underscores a crying need for public and private sector institutions to work together even more vigorously on new prevention, treatment, and care strategies for youth.
This report is the result of a unique collaborative effort of the public and private sectors sponsored by the National AIDS Fund and underwritten by the Until There's A Cure Foundation and James C. Hormel. This office is especially grateful to a team of young people who played a critical role in collecting information and ideas -- Miguel Bustos, Alex Danford, Michele Kofman, and Mangierlett Williams.
I will be sharing these findings widely with national and community leaders and with the thousands of young people who have already become involved in AIDS prevention, treatment, and care.
As you said in your remarks to the White House Conference on HIV and AIDS, we all have a responsibility to make sure that young people "know we care about them and we want them to have a future."
It is my hope that this report will begin a process that helps us reach that goal.
Patricia S. Fleming
Director, Office of National AIDS Policy